Pubdate: Thu, 02 Jun 2011 Source: Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Copyright: 2011 Times Colonist Contact: http://www2.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/letters.html Website: http://www.timescolonist.com/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/481 Author: Dr. Perry Kendall, Times Colonist HARM REDUCTION, TREATMENT BOTH NEEDED Thanks to the Times Colonist for the informative articles on addictions. From the evidence base, both abstinence-based treatment and harm reduction have important and necessary roles to play in the continuum of managing and treating addictions. Neither alone are sufficient. My main concern over the "abstinence as the only option" model is that it offers nothing to persons who are not as yet engaged in treatment, are awaiting treatment or who may have relapsed from treatment. From both compassionate and costbenefit perspectives, society has much to gain from seeking to minimize the individual and societal harms that result from problematic or dependent use of psychoactive substances in these individuals. And as the science is clear that harmreduction initiatives neither foster nor prolong such use and can increase treatment uptake, I see no logical reason why they should be opposed. Dr. Perry Kendall, Provincial health officer, Victoria - --- MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.